The latest Tekla Structures software updates from Trimble can help you create better 3D models and accelerate your workflow. Find out how Bridge Creator and other new Bridge Information Modeling (BrIM) features can help you complete the early structural design of your bridge projects.
Designing bridges to span roads, rail, or other obstacles can be challenging. It’s essential to orient the bridge correctly in terms of the span and to specify materials that can withstand both dynamic and static loads.
Bridge Creator is a Tekla Structures extension model specifically for bridge designers. It uses 3D models to structure design workflows from importing bridge alignments to producing documentation for colleagues and external project teams.
Installing Bridge Creator
Bridge Creator is a plug-in for Tekla Structures. (You can always find the latest version of the Bridge Creator plug-in by searching the Tekla Warehouse. The page also provides details about plug-in features and benefits and a link to Bridge Creator’s support page.)
Once Bridge Creator has been installed, your first step is to adjust your settings, specifically whether to use metric or imperial units. You should also enter your project’s phases into the system. Trimble organizes Bridge Creator according to your project’s real-world construction work phases rather than arbitrary levels or layers.
Working with Bridge Creator
Ideally, you’ll start your modeling activity by accessing existing LandXML schemas for the railways or roads connected with your bridge. Bridge Creator works with files from existing LandXML alignments, including Co-ordinate Geometry (CoordGeom) and Profile elements.
You’ll probably need to take a moment to reset your LandXML file’s base point in Bridge Creator to correctly orient northing and easting. This makes it easier to establish a project baseline in your Bridge Creator model.
Bridge Creator supports four types of lines:
- Alignment proxy
- Outer face
- Inner face
- Default points
Default points are an effective modeling tool to help you quickly represent different point types or offset directions within your 3D bridge model.
Alternatives to LandXML
Bridge Creator can also help you work around cases where no LandXML file is available. In these cases, you can start by entering your own Tekla construction line.
Once you’ve set that new line, Bridge Creator will read from it instead of the missing LandXML data. Since Tekla Structures can extrude any virtual structure along any Tekla construction line, you can reuse a Tekla object file as a substitute for any missing LandXML data.
Simply change the alignment of the object you’re reusing and adjust any offsets to correspond with your new construction line. Bridge Creator updates automatically, providing an efficient way to model a new structure when importing LandXML data isn’t practical.
Tekla Structures earned its reputation as steel beam modeling software. It’s expanded since then and today, apart from highly specialized road or rail applications, Tekla Structures is the only widely available digital modeling tool with the functionality to display chainage or stations on bridge alignment models. It even displays a horizontal projection of the roadways making it easy to place modeled objects in exact locations.
Modeling Superstructures of Multiple Bridges
Tekla Structures also retains all the objects you model inside its shape catalogue. When you begin a new project, those objects are available to you for re-use.
You can also import Grasshopper/Rhino objects into Tekla Structures models. This technique helps you re-use files representing components, profiles, cast-in-situ concrete, or precast beams.
So, when modeling multiple bridges in a road system, you can import road models created in Rhino and then model your bridges using Tekla Structures. With Tekla’s bridge creator feature, you can replace and rename Rhino construction lines in your Tekla bridge model.
Bridge Creator will then place objects into stations automatically. Using Tekla Visualizer, you can also represent construction materials and finishes, placing parapets, curbs, pipes, and other objects using Bridge Creator feature lines.
Trimble Connect and Tekla Visualizer
Having completed a bridge project, you can use Trimble Connect to share your model with colleagues and project stakeholders. Tekla Structures and Tekla Visualizer are tightly integrated to deliver quick rendering of animated simulations.
Tekla Structures stands out from other modeling applications by producing constructible models. Tekla’s motto is, “we model to build.”
The latest updates to three-dimensional modeling with Tekla Structures enable bridge designers to work more efficiently, saving time and improving accuracy. These applications can also provide integration tools letting you build on existing models and share your work with stakeholders or external project teams.
Why not contact BuildingPoint Canada to discuss how you and your team can use Tekla software to plan your next bridge construction project?